Formerly known as Coquille, the French ship Astrolabe brought Jules Durmont d'Urville, on his second visit to New Zealand in 1827. D'Urville's previous visit had been on the same ship three years earlier under the command of Louis Duperrey at which time they had been looking into establishing a French penal colony in New Zealand. This time, with d'Urville in charge, Astrolabe spent most of her time around the top of the South Island and along the east coast of the North Island.
D'Urville had doubts about the charts of Captain Cook, and after spending much time making his own, came away with the most comprehensive coastline maps of New Zealand since European discovery.
On March 12 Astrolabe entered the Bay of Islands, and d'Urville immediately noticed that the once thriving Maori settlement of Kawhira Pa at Paroa on the south side of the bay was now abandoned. Astrolabe spent six days in the Bay of Islands taking on food and water before she set sail for Tonga.
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